Cheltenham has a thriving night-time economy, the biggest night life scene between Bristol and Birmingham and the third largest in the South West, with over 450 licensed premises attracting up to 20,000 visitors each weekend. Whether they are visiting one of the numerous bars, award winning restaurants, late night clubs, theatre or multiplex cinema, visitors and residents are assured a good night out. Making a substantial financial contribution to the economy , it is important that the town’s night-time economy continues to flourish. It is also imperative that everything is done to make late night Cheltenham a safe place to visit for all.
Since 2006 when the Reducing Alcohol Related Violence project; supported by funding from Government Office South West, was launched in Cheltenham a great deal of effort has gone into reducing alcohol related harm and disorder in the town. The Codes of Practice launched in 2007 laying down common sense principles for all sectors of the night-time economy were the first such set of codes produced in the UK and were acknowledged as best practice by the Home Office.
In 2008/9 in another example of forward thinking, door supervisors working at venues in the town received enhanced training in conflict management which has since become a Security Industry Authority requirement for all door staff across the UK.
Taxi marshals were introduced at weekends and on race days at the busy rank in the Promenade, helping to reduce disorder and get revellers home quickly and safely. Cheltenham Street Pastors launched in December 2009 with trained volunteers providing a presence in the town centre on Friday and Saturday nights offering support, practical help and a visible ministry to those who are out in the town late at night. This was quickly followed by the Superstars Xtra scheme where students from the University of Gloucestershire; trained to SIA standard, perform a similar voluntary role in the town on popular student nights.
Although the vast majority of people visiting the town do so safely and responsibly, an active night-time economy nonetheless demands additional resource and cost for the police, council and other partners to deal with associated crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour. In April 2014 Cheltenham Borough Council took the bold step of becoming only the second licensing authority in England and Wales to adopt a late night levy although this has since been replaced by a town centre Business Improvement District.
In 2016 Cheltenham was successful in gaining Purple Flag accreditation for its evening and night-time economy. This was renewed in 2017 and the 2018 renewal is currently in progress.
Having well manged licensed premises is a key factor in developing and maintaining a safe evening and night-time economy and 2018 will see the launch of the Best Bar None scheme in Cheltenham. Applications from venues are being accepted until the end of August with assessments being undertaken in September /October. Application forms and guidance can be obtained from the Night-time Economy Coordinator – Colin Pilsworth.
A list of accredited venues will appear here once assessments have been completed later this year.
Colin Pilsworth - Night-time Economy Coordinator at Cheltenham Borough Council
- Phone: 01242 252323 (weekdays until 12.00 noon) 01242 264177 (weekdays after 12.00 noon)
- Email: email@example.com